MONTGOMERY, Illinois – Junior Rachel Ziemba had six hits over two games as the MSOE softball team rattled off eight runs in game two to hand Marian its first loss of the season and earn a doubleheader split Friday night at Aurora Sports Park.
The Raiders (16-6, 5-5 NACC) fell in game one 4-0 despite outhitting the Sabres (17-7, 9-1 NACC), 8-7, before jumping out to a 6-0 lead in game two in the way to an 8-1 victory.
Senior Sara McConnell (3-1) took to the circle in game two and conceded just one run over 5.0 innings. She scattered five hits and a pair of walks while striking out six. She then returned to the lineup with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh inning, retiring the final two batters of the game.
Junior Liz Gale struck out a hitter in 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.
After being shutout in the opener, MSOE wasted no time in getting on the board in game two with a pair of runs in the opening frame. Ziemba led off with an infield single and moved up to third on a wild pitch and ground out. She came in to score on a squeeze bunt by sophomore Amanda Manssen. Sophomore Kim White then followed with a double to score Manssen.
As it turned out, the Raiders did all their damage in pairs, adding to their lead with two runs in the third inning, two in the fourth, and another two-spot in the sixth. In the third inning, Manssen hit a one-out single before back-to-back runs scored on an error and ground out.
Sophomore Gabi Roderman sparked the offense in the fourth with a one-out hit. After a sacrifice bunt, Ziemba singled to put runners on the corners. Roderman then scored on a double steal and Snow followed with an RBI single to make it 6-0.
Marian got on the both in the fifth inning and the Red & White put one more crooked number on the board in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach. Sophomore Kiki Davis doubled, Ziemba singled, and Snow had another RBI hit to open the frame and plate the first run. Two batters later, White dropped down a squeeze bunt to bring Ziemba in to score.
The Sabres attempted to rally in the seventh inning, as the first three hitters reached base. Gale came back to strike out the next hitter before McConnell re-entered in the circle and induced back-to-back foul outs to first base to end the threat.
Ziemba had three more hits in game one and Megal knocked out a pair as MSOE put a runner in scoring position in five of the seven innings but was just unable to get the key hit. Freshman Lorrin Pondo (9-7) took the loss with 5.0 innings of work in the circle. She struck out six and allowed three earned runs in the game. Gale also threw in relief, adding a scoreless inning of work with two strikeouts.
These games were played at Aurora's home field due to snow in Wisconsin. The Raiders return to action back on this field Saturday, taking on the Spartans for two games beginning at noon.